Perth (2)

Have been at the Supanova pop culture expo this weekend. Didn’t get a chance to give Fillion a copy of Eejit, it was all in and out in 15 seconds, but we did get to meet him and then sit in on a panel where he reminisced about the good old days and wondered if he would ever get to play Indy.

Good times.

I left my spandex at home, which was just as well because I would have been totally upstaged by the several Deadpools in attendance. But I had my suit and hat, and with a very low-cost addition it made a nice steampunk costume.

Toop’s coat, on the other hand … looked … kinda brown. *suspicious squint*

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Perth (1)

It’s a beautiful winter in Western Australia.

That is all.

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Signing Off

With my deepest regrets, I am under no illusions that I will get the Black Honey Wings story finished today. Not to my satisfaction, and I don’t want to rush it. There was just too much other crap to take care of this week.

But I am taking the notes with me to Australia, and might even find a time or a place to post the last couple of bits! I have been given the impression that Australia (we have not been there since 2008) is stuck in the Internet Stone Age, so there will be no lovely unlimited download SIM card opportunities or nice Wi-Fi hotspots to take advantage of, so my Internet use will be limited. I might get online at my parents’ place but that time will probably be dedicated to helping them fix the past seven years of computer problems they’ve been saving up for me.

Therefore, I am announcing a month-long haitus from my daily posting, and the suspension of my ongoing projects. I may be around, but I make no promises.

In the meantime, Bonshoon is live:

The paperback is also available, but please give the paperback and e-book a chance to sync up and scatter themselves across all the Amazon sites. They’re usually pretty good about it but it will take a few days.

See you in the middle of July!

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Black Honey Wings, Part XII

An explosion that opened a ship or hab to vacuum made a strange sound. There was still atmosphere in one part – the part where the owner of the ears was, if he was lucky – so sound waves still travelled through the air and became sounds in said ears. But the other half of the explosion was going out into space and making no sound waves. And while that shouldn’t, logically, make any difference to the quality of the fuckamighty boom one’s ears heard when one was partaking in such an explosion … well, it did. It just did.

The detonation as the A-Mod 400’s mini-whorl guns ripped into the docking spar separating the Nope, Leftovers from the rest of the Black Honey Wings was a sort of flat, hollow whunk noise. The breathless howl of the Godfire that momentarily preceded it and the roar of escaping air following it did nothing to change the weirdness of the actual detonation. Drago’s brain insisted it was a thunderous explosion, but his eardrums were unconvinced.

It wasn’t something he had a lot of cause to muse over, however. He only just had time to hurl himself forward and grab the edge of a support strut before the deadly blast of outrushing air dragged him horizontal. Fortunately, this lasted for approximately one-tenth of a second and his fingers held out for two-tenths of a second, and the nearest emergency seal – some twenty feet behind him – slammed into place before he fell, gasping, to the floor.

The damage to the Black Honey Wings, and the fact that he had survived it, removed some of the urgency from his headlong charge through the ship. The damage was now done and the crew in the main body of the Black Honey Wings would assume that all their enemies were either on the Nope, Leftovers or back on their own modular. None of them had been in the main ship, and depending on the surveillance Dool had set up throughout his vessel it seemed unlikely that anyone would be aware of Barducci’s movements leading up to the explosion, although they might have been aware he’d left the dome. And now the docked modulars were severed entirely.

Drago got his breath back, regained his feet, and began to make his way slightly more carefully through the dark, alarm-caterwauling backstage areas of the Black Honey Wings.

“Main hold,” he muttered to himself. “Main hold … ” I suppose a map with ‘YOU ARE HERE’ on it would be too much to ask for.

Still, he’d been on a few Chrysanthemums and more complicated custom-starships built on a Chrys base, and this left him with a reasonably good idea of where he needed to go. And he could go most of the way in the maintenance tunnels, which was helpful. By the time he arrived, the alarms had been replaced by a less-jarring general alert tone and the running and shouting in the corridors had given way to silence, punctuated by the occasional purposeful hum of a repair drone or janitorial. Whatever was going on with the modulars, it didn’t seem as though all-out space battle had yet been joined. Not so it was noticeable here, anyway.

He emerged in front of the main hold’s access doors to find someone blocking his path. And not just any someone.

“Ahh, shit,” he said.

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Black Honey Wings, Part XI

Drago Barducci was not a small or particularly surreptitious man, although he could move quickly and quietly when he needed to. The current situation called more for speed than stealth, however, so he gave only the most fleeting consideration to the strategic non-optimality of being seen by their enemies. He could avoid, but there would be no hiding. Not if he wanted to get out in time.

He was lucky. He kept to corridors that corresponded to little-used ones on their own modular, relying on the similarity of design and lack of customisation, and found his way to a secondary docking area on the blister without encountering any hostiles. There was a certain amount of rearrangement, or at least clutter, throughout the vessel but he managed to cross back into Black Honey Wings proper while avoiding the major traffic areas. The smaller airlock – if you could even call it that, since all its hatches and mechanisms had long since been removed – had a similar no-man’s-land of armoured decking around it but was completely devoid of personnel. Very sloppy.

He charged out into the less-familiar terrain of the larger starship interior, got into another maintenance passageway off the main thoroughfare, and hurtled down the docking spar hidden from the eyes of running troops. And they were troops, he noted on the couple of fleeting occasions he caught a glimpse through a repair hatch or snuck across an access junction. What sort of mercenary band was this? What sort of Noro bucky swore allegiance to the Halfmoon and became Captain of a starship this specialised, and then used it to run his own personal army of bounty hunters?

And then came after them?

Well … okay, that part was understandable enough. Even if the “AstroCorps hanging them out to dry” option was a way more likely outcome than the “AstroCorps admitting to machinations against the throne and declaring war on Aquilar” one, they were something of a catch. And from there, it was easy enough to piece together the rest.

The throne wanted the traitor they’d sprung from jail. When it became clear that there would be no official manhunt, no on-the-books inquest, that AstroCorps would deny everything and the whole thing would be swept under the rug … well, the throne had to get more creative. So there’d been a private bounty called. With its own little clause for deniability, of course. This was why the Halfmoon let Dool become a Captain of a ship this size, against general Noro Metak cultural exchange regulations. A ship this size, with the accessories with which the Black Honey Wings had been equipped and the heavily-armed, if not-spectacularly-trained crew she had on board.

It was just the sort of grey-area pursuit that they should have been expecting from the outset – and indeed, that Barducci had been preparing for. It was just a little unexpected in the uncharted depths of interstellar space when you dropped out of the grey to … do whatever it was their inestimable Captain – and inestimable, on so many levels, was the right word for him – had been planning here, with this ill-fated Fergunakil clipper.

Sadly, this meant there would be no leaving this volume of space for the unfortunate Captain Nak Dool and his people. No spreading the word. It was them or the crew of the A-Mod 400, and Drago was pretty sure that meant it was going to be them.

Barducci was still moodily stirring these thoughts – and still running full-tilt through the maintenance tunnel – when Commander Choya Alapitarius W’Tan turned their ship’s big guns on the Black Honey Wings, and the docking spar erupted behind him in a whispering thunder of Godfire and rushing atmosphere.

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Bonshoon paperbacks

My proof copies of Bonshoon arrived yesterday, and they look good. We’ll be ready to go live with the release on Amazon on Friday.

Oh, there was one slight misprint. See if you can spot it:

Seraphympire, the story of a haunted amusement park planet and ... hang on.

It’s subtle.

Bizarrely, CreateSpace had printed four of my five proof copies just fine … and then given the fifth one the front, back and spine cover of some other book entirely. A book about a hot redhead in a mini-skirt and fuck-me boots who is trying to kill a crow with a longsword, apparently. And the crow seems pretty resigned to it.

Seraphympire is going to start some shit with this crow.

Either that or it knows that nobody is going to be paying much attention to it on this cover.

Actually that’s probably not a longsword, I’ll leave it to the experts.

Inside, my book was fine. The cover, and back-blurb, are just extremely misleading. I told CreateSpace about it and they are sending me a free copy of Bonshoon[1], and then I took to the Internet to find the mysterious Renee Spyrou.

[1] Although now I’m wondering a) whether I should have asked for a copy of Seraphympire instead, and b) whether I can take a photo of some of my books with another random book plonked alongside and always get a free extra copy. Why am I such a remorselessly good guy?

Turns out, in an even weirder twist, that she is a similarly self-published author and she’s Australian, too.

True story. I tweeted it.

I sent Edpool to talk to her. Edpool has people skills. Look at how he handled all those tweets filled with abbreviations, numbers-for-words and other devilry, and didn’t even cry or kill any small animals.

It was, all in all, a most amusing and profitable venture all round. This book of hers, Seraphympire, seems to be the first in a series, but I am strongly considering picking it up and having a read. It looks like a lot of fun. It’s not really about a go-go dancer trying to kill a crow – it’s actually about a half-vampire, half-seraphym with a split personality disorder. Which is way cooler if you ask me. Although she could kill a crow. Fuck crows.

I’ll leave it to Edpool to review the book. Edpool has people skills.

Better yet, I discovered that even us lowly self-published independents can get hardcover copies of our books. While CreateSpace only does paperbacks and I am doing my e-books through Amazon for Kindle, Ms. Spyrou put me onto another website, IngramSpark, that will make a fancy hardcover book for you in a variety of styles.

You need to give your book a new ISBN and stuff to get around the exclusivity agreements, much like with the paperback and e-book, and I think I will still take a look at my publishing agreement, but I’m thinking that once The Final Fall of Man is finished I will have to get the whole lot in lovely, lovely hardcover. Because damn it, why not?

Heck, I might even be able to get all eight into a single volume. Wait, ~350 pages x 8 books … 2,800 pages before resizing and formatting … okay, maybe not. But still, worth thinking about. I am almost halfway through the series.

Sorry, still trying to get more stuff written. But things are hectic. Three workdays left until the Big Trip.

Posted in Astro Tramp 400, Edpool, Kussa mun hopoti? | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Interlude: What Is It Good For?

I’m doing my best to ramp up and finish the Black Honey Wings story before I leave, and a lot of other little bits and pieces in The Final Fall of Man just fell into place last night so I’ll be working on that.

Also this week I am backing up a holidayer at work, so I am still under absolutely no circumstances worrying about cranes but fortunately they’re not the same cranes I have totally not been involved with for the past year. Anyway, busy again. Plus all the organisation and worrying about the up-coming trip. Shit to do.

And convention tickets to print. *whistles nonchalantly*

In the meantime, do check out this interactive video. It’s pretty staggering, and – considering the horrors we see on the news every day – also reassuring. It also worries me that this is precisely the opposite of what we’re supposed to be concluding, from those same news stories. Are we learning anything yet?

I am quite interested in seeing what those “interstate wars” between the rich countries have been. Haven’t had time to do full mess-around with that interactive feature yet.

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